Stated bluntly, nerve pain can debilitate you if you don’t get treatment. Any number of factors can cause your pain, including:
- Diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis, cancer or other major illness
- Injury to the brain or spine
- Poor blood supply to the nerves
- Carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica
- Tumors that press on your nerves, causing pain
The best diet for your nerves
B vitamins protect nerve cells. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) provides your nerves with energy to function, while vitamin B6 relieves nerve pain and transmits nerve impulses correctly. Vitamin B12 regenerates the nerves, protecting them from damage.
A deficiency in vitamins B12 or B1 may be partly responsible for your nerve pain. Dr. Berkower can help you plan a nerve-healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to compensate for any vitamin deficiencies and allow your body to heal.
Additional dietary changes
- Remove gluten, or at least focus more on healthier gluten-free grains, such as quinoa, amaranth, teff, and sorghum.
- Consider a vegan diet. Reducing or eliminating meat, cheese, and milk should help balance your blood sugar, which can calm nerve pain.
- Drink plenty of water to keep nutrients flowing.
- Moderate your sugar intake, and skip artificial sweeteners entirely.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with low-glycemic fruits, such as apples, apricots, pears, oranges, strawberries, grapes, and plums
- Include veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, and more.
- Enjoy green leafy salads, with healthy fats such as olive oil, wild fish and avocado, which are rich in nerve-building, pain-reducing omega-3 fatty acids.
- Supplement with B vitamins, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), vitamin E and vitamin B3 (niacin), which are all crucial for nerve health.
- Spice up your life by adding anti-inflammatory curcumin and turmeric to food. They taste sensational and may lessen nerve pain.
A form of nerve pain, peripheral neuropathy often strikes patients with diabetes. Poor communication within nerves can inflict debilitating stabbing, tingling and burning pain, ultimately damaging the nerves. Diabetes is often the result of poor nutrition and/or obesity. Dr. Berkower can suggest proper nutrients, foods and exercises to help manage both your condition and pain.
Is peripheral neuropathy causing your pain?
In addition to pain, those with peripheral neuropathy may experience:
- Muscle weakness
- Coordination and balance problems
- Sensitivity to touch
Aside from diabetes, a variety of risk factors figure into the development of peripheral neuropathy, including:
- Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- Physical trauma due to accidents and injuries
- Epstein-Barr virus, Lyme disease, and other chronic infections
- Exposure to toxic substances, such as lead and mercury
It’s especially important to resolve peripheral neuropathy sooner rather than later, when it will be far more difficult to cure. Bring any concerns and questions to Dr. Berkower, who can put you on a path to wellness.
Simple lifestyle changes can combat your pain
Besides diet, Dr. Berkower recommends making some basic lifestyle adjustments, such as avoiding repetitive movements, increasing your amount of light to moderate exercise, and not remaining sedentary for long periods of time. Be sure to get up from your computer regularly to stretch and move around. Dr. Berkower offers specific exercises that help rather than harm.
If you smoke, quit. And don’t overdo your alcohol consumption.
We’re here to help
Learn how a few minor changes can make a big difference in your nerve pain. If you’re concerned about pain or other chronic conditions, call us at 954-430-9972 to arrange your consultation, or book your appointment online with Dr. Berkower today. You can also send us a message here on the website.